The coronavirus pandemic has left millions of Americans out of work

Thousands wait in line at food pantries that are working hard to keep food on the tables of families in the midst of the economic crisis.
4:55 | 05/24/20

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Transcript for The coronavirus pandemic has left millions of Americans out of work
We appreciate it. Now to the economic situation as Americans face the worst downturn since the great depression. This morning, as businesses begin the reopening, calls for Ford to shut down a Dearborn plant, 25 people are quarantined. The plant reopened too soon. Still, it's been a constant struggle for Americans to make ends meet. ABC's Deidre Bolton is here with more. Reporter: The coronavirus pandemic has put millions of Americans out of work and left them hungry. Families lining up at this new York food bank. In Indiana, no racing this weekend at the iconic Indianapolis motor speedway, instead a food drive for thousands in need. Close to 30% of Americans have had to take a pay cut or been laid off since the start of the crisis. For many families, the struggle is not just about food, it's also about shelter. We've had to postpone paying bills. Our mortgage is two months late. It's either we eat or we pay a bill. So that's where we're at right now. Reporter: In April alone, 1.6 million Americans stopped paying their mortgage. The biggest one-month spike, ever. It's been very frustrating. Out of my household, there are seven of us here, three of us have been laid off and there's only two adults working. Reporter: Some are now turning to side jobs to make extra money for food and bills. Right now since the pandemic I have four side hustles going right now, between nannying, yoga classes, grocery shopping for families and delivering product for my friend's company. It's been hard and hectic. Reporter: House Democrats passed a bill last week that seeks to buy more time for Americans. The Democrats proposed pushing an extension of the $600 per week federal backstop until January 2021 rather than this July. Senate majority leader, though, Mitch Mcconnell said the next relief bill will not extend the benefit. So much pain out there, economically, physically, psychologically. For more on all of this, let's bring in Martha Raddatz. Good morning. I want to bring that stunning image from the front page of "The New York Times." The list of the dead as America approaches the grim milestone of 100,000 fatalities. What impact does this number have most likely on the ongoing political and policy efforts to reopen the economy? Well, I mean, first of all, Dan, it's so important to remember every single one of those numbers is a name. Is a family member. Is a husband or a wife who contributed to our society in some way. That's a reminder that we all need to have at this point. But you also have a country clearly eager to start reopening, with all 50 states now reopening in some way, so it is that balance. We know that there has been this we know that there could be loss in the future, but people as you have said all morning, people are eager to get out, people are eager to get back to work, so it's that balance of the health risks and the economy that we've been facing for months. Of course, there are health risks to keeping the economy closed, depression and many other health risks. It's an incredibly tricky balance. On the show this morning, you're going to be talking about these disturbing racial disparities in relation to the pandemic. What's being done on a policy level, if anything, to address these disparities? One of the things that's mayor Muriel bowser from happening, we're talking to mayor Muriel bowser from Washington, D.C., I know what she's trying to do and so many others to have people look at the root of the problem. Why it's affecting these communities to a greater degree? Why people are suffering more there? It's the lack of health care even before the coronavirus. It's the lack of grocery stores even before the coronavirus hit. It's the lack of hospitals. One of the things that they're doing here in Washington, D.C., is opening a new covid ward in this hospital and a new icu. These are the things that they're trying on address at this point. The pandemic exposing old, old disparities and wounds in this culture, no question about it. Martha, thank you so much. I want to remind everybody, Martha has a big show this morning. She'll go one-on-one with the white house coronavirus response coordinator, Dr. Deborah birx. That's coming up on "This week" later this morning right here on whit, over to you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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